Recently departed Top Gear host Chris Evans has received some belated cheer for his truncated run at the helm of the BBC’s motoring magazine show after the BBC’s commercial arm confirmed that his run was ‘a bigger global hit than the Jeremy Clarkson version’ - irrespective of dismal UK ratings and at times brutal coverage of his presenting.
The format was flogged to more countries than ever before despite fallout from the unceremonious sacking of Jeremy Clarkson and co but this has done nothing to dim foreign demand, with the BBC raking in upwards of £50m a year from sales of the TV show and related merchandise.
BBC Worldwide chief executive, Tim Davie, commented: “I am very happy with programme sales. “[Chris Evans’s Top Gear] has sold into over 130 territories which is very strong and marginal growth versus the previous season.
“It is absolutely the case I think that Top Gear remains in very good health. It is a work in progress and we will have to see how it goes. I remain optimistic about Top Gear and its growth potential over the coming years.”
Despite this reception the BBC has said there are no plans to relaunch Top Gear Live, the international touring show hosted by Clarkson, Richard Hammond and james May whilst it scrabbles to find a presenter for the next season.